The age of Kypchacs
In the eighth century manuscripts by various authors from different countries started mentioning a tribe named in Old Russia as Polovets people, in Central Europe - as the Comans, and in the East - as the Kypchaks.
Between the 8th-10th centuries the predomination of the Kimaks and Kypchaks first in
Altai, Irtysh region and Eastern Kazakhstan becomes a determining factor in this vast
region of steppes. The collapse of the state of the Kimaks in early 11th century and their
drifting westwards to the Aral Sea and the Volga region became basic in the new phase of
the Kimaks and Kypchaks migration settlement. During this period the following five main
groups of Kypchak tribes were finally established:
1)Altai and Siberian;
2) Kazakhstan group covering the areas near the Ural river and also including the so-called
Saksin i.e. the Itil-Jayik group;
3) the Don group including the North Caucasus subgroup;
4) the Dnieper group inclusive of the Crimean subgroup;
5) the Danube group including the Balkan subgroup. Besides certain groups of Kypchaks are known to have existed also in Fergana, East Turkestan and Kasgaria.
The 10th century A.D. witnessed the very beginning of the process of separating ethnic groups from the numerous tribe unions of the Slavs, the Roman and Germanic tribes, The Turkic tribe unions etc. inhabiting the Eurasian space. Thus to the West of the nomadic steppes the Russians were formed as a nation. At the same time the Great Steppe became a cradle where the the Kypchak people were formed as an ethnic community.
In the 10th century A.D. the Kypchaks turned into a ferocious and threatening power who made tremble the entire Arabic, Persian, Slavic Roman and Germanic worlds.
In 1071 the Kypchaks after having reached Asia Minor besieged and conquered the town of Anatolia thus having established the foundation of the Ottoman Turks. Within just a 30-year period the Kypchaks managed to reach the Carpathian Mountains, Danube, the Balkan mountains. Those who crossed the Danube and went farther westwards were called by the Huns (earlier Hungarians) with their own name - the Kuns. Contemporarily to that name another name of the same nation appeared- the Comans.
As some historical sources testify, the names Kypchak and Kazakh appeared simultaneously.
The ethnonym Kazakh is closely connected with the mode of life in Kazakhstan. The name Kazakh enters the historical arena and acquires independence during the period of weakening and political regress of the Kypchak union and separation of the Uzbek, Kirghiz, Bashkir, Kazakh and other nationalities.
Thus, in middle of the II millenium A.D. a new ethnical and cultural community appears on the map of Eurasia - the Kazakh. One of the characteristic traits of the Kazakh people is their nomadic way of life based on the predominance of stock-breeding over plowing agriculture.
The process of forming the Kazakh nationality was accompanied by the formation of the ethnic territory. Due to the influence of ethnic-political and economic factors the following ethnic and territorial unions appeared on the territory of Kazakhstan: The Senior Juz, the Middle Juz and the Junior Jus.
The First Stage. The peoples inhabiting the vast areas of Asia including the lands of Kazakhstan, at a certain phase of their social development used to live in integral unity. Characteristics of this age included instability and vagueness of their national borders, systematic movement and often reciprocal assimilation of the nations. The following names of ancient peoples, tribe unions and clans can prove this fact: the Turkic, the Mongols, the Kangles, the Kereits, the Naimans, the Kara-Chinese (or Mountain Chinese), the Usuni and others.
The First Stage. The splitting between the strong East and the Western areas takes place. Apparent become the differences between the territories, economies and languages and thus new groups of nationalities appear: (in the West: the Tatars, the union of the Kazakhs, the Nogaily peolple and the Uzbeks, the Sarts, the Tadjiks; In the East: the Mongols, the Buruats and the Oyrats).
The Third Stage. A new reshuffle of the peoples: after separation Nogaily peolple move to the Northern Caucasus; the Uzbeks - to the Turkestan and the Kazakh remain in the steppes of Kazakhstan.
Both the moved peoples and those who remained in their initial settlement places begin acquiring stable and distinct national features and characteristics caused by territorial isolation, enhanced economical development and innovations in the language and life. The old historic names are the only remainders of the past.
Turkic and Mongol clans who settled themselves in the Volga region receive the name of the Tatars. Those who settled themselves in the steppes of Kazakhstan consider themselves to be the Kazakhs.